It’s 11:51 pm
The day before Halloween and what better way to get in the mood then to kick back and a watch a major studio rated PG-13 film about Satan? Half of you will be answering “Hell yeah!! You and the cheetah are in for a hellish good time”!! The fanboys out there will be shaking your heads and put on “Night of the Living Dead” and get properly in the mood.
But by now you already know if there is one thing the cheetah and I love to do….watching obscure,underrated movies…..like Lionsgate’s “The Devil’s Hand”.
This was a title I picked up for .50 cents during my last library run. It was slim pickings but I sort of surprise to see a horror film on the shelves so close to Halloween and since the price right,why not,right? I mean,what’s the worst that could happen?
In the Amish like community of New Bethlehem,a prophecy is told that 6 girls will be born on the 6th day of the 6th month and one of them on their 18th birthday will become a vessel for Satan. Thus says Elder Beacon (Colm Meaney) the leader of the sect.
So when it comes to pass that 6 women indeed are in labor and are giving birth to six girls,its a night of terror for the young mothers.
One of them is so scared that she kills her newborn and herself within minutes of the birth. When Elder Beacon attempts to do in the others,he is met and repulsed by Jacob Brown () whose wife,Susan,is one of the mother giving birth.
Flash forward almost 18 years later and the five original girls,Mary,Hannah,Sarah,Ruth and Abby are a close knit group. But everywhere they walk as a group,the other church members stare at them,they know their 18th’s birthdays are coming in a matter of days and they believe in the prophecy.
The girls are swimming in a lake when a pair of local boys from town suddenly surprise them,with one of the boys jumping into the water. The rest of the girls scramble to get out with Abby letting the boy see she was skinny dipping.
When Mary (Alycia Debnam-Carey) suddenly starts having a convulsion and starts to drown,the other boy,Trevor,jumps in and saves her. He administers CPR until Mary recovers and is okay. Sarah (Leah Pipes) urges the girls to return home and as Hannah and Ruth split up to go home,they tease Mary “about her first kiss”.
We stay with Hannah as she is suddenly attacked and killed near a water well and with her dying scream,we are back in Mary’s home with Jacob and his second wife,Rebekah (Jennifer Carpenter). Mary and Rebekah do not get along at all as Rebekah is very strict with her and Jacob has to step in to maintain peace.
When Hannah is discovered missing,the whole community gets scared and starts looking. The four remaining girls decide to see if she went into town as Abby suggests.
They meet up and heads towards the lake,a sound of a loud party. Mary,Ruth and Sarah hve second thoughts but Abby removes her dress and reveals she is wearing street clothes,she isn’t looking for Hannah as much as she is the boy she saw at the lake.
All four of the girls attend the party with Mary and Trevor reuniting as she says “Thank you” as they hang out and talk.
In the meantime,Abby and the boy are killed by a unseen figure and are hauled away.
When the bodies are discovered by Mary,she runs to tells Sarah and her dad. Both girl shocked when Sarah’s dad suddenly commits suicide right of the girls.
Clearly something is terribly wrong in New Bethlehem as only three girls now remain while a mad killer is on the loose. Secrets will be discovered,innocent lives are in mortal danger,elders are not what they seem to be and just what in the world is “The Devil’s Hand”? All shall be revealed or will it…….?
The Devil’s Hand has had a rocky history,it was originally filmed in 2012 but sat on the shelf and through various name changes (the IMDb has it called “Where the Devil Hides”) for two years before it was released straight to the home market.
We thought “The Devil’s Hand” had a pretty strong start with Colm Meaney playing a crazed fanatic as Rufus Sewell as a stalwart father. It wasn’t until the first girl,Hannah,was killed so quickly onscreen that the cheetah flipped the DVD case over and starting laughing. I put the film on “pause” and said “I know Lionsgate put out and that it has three big names in it….and what?” PG-13!!! “The Devil’s Hand” is rated PG-13!
There is rule among horror movies today…..for a movie to be VERY scary it can’t be:
From a major studio
It can’t have big name stars
It can’t be PG-13.
Now you know why the cheetah was laughing but you what? There is enough here to recommend a watch. All three big leads (Meaney,Sewell and especially Carpenter) are very effective,all three nail their roles very well. Carpenter was very strong as a strict step-mother who will brook no insolence from Mary. She can also handle a axe pretty darn well as well…no stunt double needed here!
Meaney as Elder Beacon comes across as devout and on fire for God but we find out he has more up his cloak then a Bible and holy water. He rules his flock with a iron fist and fear….
Sewell is also very good as Jacob Brown but the script (written by Karl Mueller who write the very strong “The Divide”) doesn’t have much for him to do and has him disappear at a most critical moment in the movie without any explanation!!
Among the young cast of unknowns,Thomas McDonell as Trevor stands out. Trevor is a really good kid and McDonell plays him with empathy and real emotions. He really does care for Mary and her friends and does what he can to help even if he doesn’t understand what the hell is going on. McDonell has gone to star in “The 100” and will be in a new mini-series “The Long Road Home”. Definitely someone to keep a eye on…
Alycia Debnam-Carey also went to star in “The 100” before landing a role in “Fear the Walking Dead” playing Alicia Clark.
“The Devil’s Hand” is a short and fast 82 minutes long and as for Special Features,it only has the trailer for the film.
So while the cheetah wasn’t scared at all and I was impressed with the new faces,we split on “The Devil’s Hand”. I gave it a thumbs up and the cheetah fell asleep (unless Jennifer Carpenter was onscreen,then he kept a eye open)
You can buy a copy of “The Devil’s Hand” on the Lionsgate website.
Have you seen “The Devil’s Hand”? If so…..what is it??? Leave a comment below!